Are landlines obsolete?

old phone

old phone (Photo credit: Albert!)

I’ve had a smart phone for a while now.  It’s handy, it’s convenient, it’s fun to be able to check in on what my friends are up to on facebook and twitter.  I’ve even used it to publish posts on my blog.  But I just couldn’t convince myself to cut the cord…the cord to my landline, that is.  I’ve been mulling it over for quite some time.  I’m paying a little over $40 a month for something that I’m using probably less than once a week.  Is it worth it?  As I’m attempting to simplify my life, I’ve found myself questioning how I’m spending my money.  Could I put that $40+ to better use?

I finally made the decision.  I called AT&T today and cancelled my home service.  Very few questions asked.  The representative I spoke with offered a discount of $6 a month, but that didn’t do a lot for me.  We continued the process and my landline will no longer be functional after midnight.  End of story, right?

Well…not quite.  After I hung up, I kept trying to push my feelings aside, trying not to think about what was bothering me.  Then I told myself to just feel whatever emotions are there swirling around and figure out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling.  I’ve never been all that good at experiencing emotions (heck, that’s what I used food for… I didn’t want to have to feel anything.), so I had to force myself to come back to it a few times.  But I did it.  I sat with it and was surprised at what I was feeling.

I was feeling fear.  Fear that I wouldn’t have a way to get help for myself if something happened to me and my cell phone wasn’t working.  Fear that I would be isolated in an emergency.  Considering I live in town in an apartment complex with over 200 apartments and townhouses, I’m not ever going to really be isolated.  And my little friend Clara has forced me to get to know more of my neighbors.  So the fear is a tad irrational.  But…fear often is, isn’t it?

After working through all of that, I realized there was more to it than plain fear.  Have you ever noticed that nothing’s ever as simple as we think it should be?  I’ve had a landline since before we called them landlines.  Letting go of it brought up feelings of failure.  Weird, huh?  In my mind, I guess I still don’t fully think of cell phones as being “real” phones, and if I don’t have a “real” phone, well then, for some reason I see that as a failure on my part.  Wow!  There’s a lot there for me to work on.  Once I worked that out, the feelings faded.  After all, we all know that cell phones are so much more than the phones we grew up with (unless you’re a college kid as we speak).  They’re these little bitty computers you can put in your pocket.  Try doing that with Grandma’s old rotary wall phone!

Run from the darkness


fear (Photo credit: siette)

“Please, please, please, don’t let him find me.  Don’t let the monster get me.  I be good.  I promise I be good.”  The little boy, cowering in the back of the dark closet, kept whispering this as he tried to become invisible by closing his eyes and covering his face with his hands.  He heard the monster roaring, knew he was coming for him, just like he’d come for him all those times before.

The monster was getting closer.  His monster feet were pounding against the floor, shaking the entire house.  He was slamming doors as he looked in each room for the scared little boy.  With every minute that passed, the monster’s shouts became louder and scarier.  “You better get your ass out here now!  Get out here and take it like a man, you damn little brat!”

The door banged against the wall causing the little boy to jump in fear.  “No, no, no…please don’t let him find me…please.”  The closet door was wrenched open so fast it almost came off the hinges.  The boy tried to move further back into the dark corner of the closet, tried to silence the whimpers escaping from him.

The monster stepped into the closet, shoving clothes around.  “I know you’re in here, you little bastard.  I can smell you.  Did you piss yourself again?  You’re nothing but a nasty, filthy little thief.”

The little boy gasped as the monster’s face appeared right before him.  Then he felt the monster grab him and yank him from his hiding place.  He knew there was no escaping the monster now.  The monster stood there in the middle of the room, roughly holding the boy at arm’s length, several feet off the floor.  Shaking the boy so violently that his body went limp, the monster yelled in his face, “I know you took it!  I know you did! What have I told you about taking things that don’t belong to you?”

Tears were running down the boy’s cheeks, his mouth open in a silent scream.  The monster shook him again then threw him against the wall.  The monster walked up to the crumpled little body, then stood there with his hands on his hips.  The boy’s dark brown eyes looked up at the monster in fear.  He whispered, “I sorry.  I be a good boy.”

The monster pulled his leg back and kicked the little boy in the stomach.  “You’ll never be a good boy.  You’re nothing but a piece of crap.  I wish to hell you’d never been born.”  Then the monster squatted down, putting his monster face right in the boy’s face, his monster breath washing over the boy.  “You stay right here.  Don’t you try to hide from me again.  It’s time for your punishment, you little thief.”